In the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, many authors and artists visited or lived in Nara, and wrote about the characteristics of the scenery in Nara Park.
“Without doubt, Nara is a lovely place. The scenery is delightful, and the historic architecture is refined and harmonious. There is no other place with such scenic character. The Nara of today is just part of an ancient city, though what remains of the classical scenery is extraordinarily beautiful.
“Nara” by Shiga Naoya, 1938
“Nara Park is the most beautiful park in Japan….it has a natural magnificence, meaning that it has not been distorted by the small-garden taste often seen in other parts of Japan. There are no artificial mountains or rocks placed for decorative purposes, which is pleasing. Needless to say, such artifice is not necessary, because the landscape has slopes and mountain peaks as a backdrop, which enhances the elegance of the foreground.”
“Unlike other beautiful parks, the tree growth is not so dense, and on the mountain slopes are magnificent primeval forests that have not been felled by any axe. The forest consists of cedars, pine trees, camphor trees, evergreen oaks, maples and zelkova.”
“Wherever you look inside this impressive park, mysterious nature welcomes you: across the park, picturesque scenery is fantastically presented in the ancient temples and pagodas of red and white, as well as the animals that reside there….nowhere represents the idyllic scenery of peace than this park.”
– Excerpt from the entry for ‘April 17, 1904’ from “The Diary of a German Doctor in Awakening Japan”, written by Erwin von Bälz, edited by Toku Bälz.